"My name is Phyllis Thompson," I said the first day of every class I taught in Changsha, China, "and I travel." I wrote my name and the word "travel" on the board and drew a rough outline of the U.S. I then put a dot for every city I had lived in, hopping back and forth from California to Rhode Island to Washington state and so on (my father was in the Navy), and then after high school to Holland, Ohio, New York, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Oregon. It was in this way I discovered that, by 1991 when I was 45 years old, I had lived for a year or more in 20 places. "China," I said, "is number 21."
China I slowed down a bit — the number of places I have called home is
now 25, though that doesn't count 6 years cruising by sailboat from
Oregon into the Sea of Cortez. Such a life may sound adventurous, but I
was always a lover of one sort of easy leisure. Some people stretch
their limbs under the sun; I prefer to wander wild glens and gentle
trails. Both are comfort-seeking in their way. I am not one of those who
rise up singing to meet the dragon or the storm. I may stray off the
beaten track a while, but when something suggests it might hurt, I
prefer to pause somewhere and muse.
What have I found to muse about
while pausing in places and spaces around this wide world? Scattered
within this website are a few samples.